The rise of AI and how it can help UX

21st June 2023

John Graham – Lead UX Consultant

No, the robots aren’t taking over (just yet anyway), but the rise of AI is having a major impact on the tech world. Almost everyone has heard of ChatGPT, and there are already AI tools out there to generate images, video and even music. I often see posts on the web challenging you to guess which image is AI and which is a real photo, and it’s getting trickier to work out by the day.

It’s easy to become concerned about AI and you couldn’t be blamed for questioning what jobs it could replace in the future. That said, the best thing to do, rather than avoiding AI, is to embrace it. Use these new tools to enhance skills, speed up tasks and to become more efficient. For example, user researchers can take advantage of AI powered tools which transcribe voice conversations in real time, meaning in interviews and workshops they can focus on the conversation and not have to take as many notes.

AI tools can also become part of the solutions we deliver to our clients, utilising things like ChatGPT and similar products to provide real time answers and information via tools like chat bots. In fact, Answer has recently developed and released an AI powered healthcare platform, live in several NHS trusts, delivering high quality data, faster results and better treatment and diagnosis for patients, improving quality of care, and saving lives.

Similarly, AI can help in areas like data analysis – rather than having to look through mountains of data, we can use AI to speed that process up, helping us come to conclusions quicker, and deliver better results for our clients. It will also be a powerful tool for personalisation, providing recommendations to users personalised to their needs based on their previous activity, and that of users like them, all powered by AI.

That’s the key thing here: empowerment. By embracing AI and the opportunities it offers, we’re empowering ourselves to be better. We can speed up our processes; even automate some. AI can be used to generate templates for us to build on, or to sense-check our work.

Equally, AI tools are constantly learning and don't always get things right. For example, generated content isn’t always entirely accurate, so it’s also important not to take things as a given, and sense-check any outputs. If misused, AI could be used to create user experiences that are manipulative or exploitative.

It’s important that we don’t see AI as an all-powerful oracle, but as a tool that can help and empower us to be faster, more efficient, and better informed.

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